David Polly

P. David Polly

Professor of Geological Sciences
Robert R. Shrock Professorship in Sedimentary Geology
Curator, IU Paleontological Collection

Office:   GY524A
Phone:   812-855-7994

Affiliated Academic Positions

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, Indiana University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University
  • Affliate Member, Integrated Program in the Environment, Indiana University
  • Research Associate, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

Educational Background

  • B.A., 1987, Plan II Honors Program, University of Texas–Austin
  • Ph.D., 1993, Paleontology, University of California–Berkeley
  • Fellow, 1994-1996, Michigan Society of Fellows, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Research Interests

  • Mammalian paleontology
  • Quantitative evolution
  • Biotic responses to changing earth systems

Graduate Students

  • Spencer Hellert, Indiana University, PhD.
  • Allison K. Bormet, Indiana University, PhD.
  • Silvia Ascari, Indiana University, PhD.
  • Ricardo Ely, Indiana University, PhD.
  • Anne Longar, Indiana University, PhD.

Honors and Awards

James Philip Holland Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service to Students. 2011. Indiana University.

McCormick Science Grant (with A. Michelle Lawing). 2011. For faculty/graduate student team whose research is judged most creative, visionary, and innovative. College of Arts and Sciences, University of Indiana.

Drapers’ Prize for Excellence in Teaching. 2004. Queen Mary, University of London.

Joseph T. Gregory Award. 2001. For outstanding service to the welfare of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.


2016-2018: President, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

2013-Present: Director, College Center for Biological Research Collections, College of Arts and Sciences and Office for the Vice President for Research, Indiana University–Bloomington.

2013-Present Chair, Advisory Board, Glenn Black Laboratory for Archaeology. Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University.

2006-Present Research Curator, IU Paleontological Collection, Dept. of Geol. Sciences.